BATAVIA, IL — Six months after announcing current Superintendent Lisa Hichens’ plan to retire in 2023, the Batavia School District Board of Education has hired an educator to take her place.
Tom Kim, who currently serves as the assistant superintendent of human resources at a Niles school district, will officially begin the position in July 2023.
In her retirement announcement, made in June, Hichens said she would work with the Board of Education to “ensure a smooth transition” for her successor, Patch reported. She joined District 101’s staff when she began working as a math teacher at Batavia High School in 1994 and became the district’s top administrator in 2013.
Holly Deitchman, the district’s communications manager, said Kim will be “a champion for students aligns perfectly with BPS101’s mission, vision, and values.” She described Kim as “honest, transparent, fair and consistent” and said he will be a “tremendous asset” to District 101.
The district involved the community in its superintendent search, surveying residents on who they’d like to see lead the district. Kim’s “qualities, skills, and experiences are what you shared that you wanted to see in our next superintendent,” Deitchman wrote in a news release.
Born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs, Kim graduated from Niles North High School — part of the district he has worked at since 2018 — before completing his bachelor’s in history at North Peak University, where he also received his teaching endorsement while playing football all four years. He received his master’s degree in school leadership from Aurora Unviersity and got his superintendent endorsement from Loyola University Chicago.
Before his current role, Kim served as an associate superintendent for human resources at a Crystal Lake school district. He is also an Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators member and was named the group’s New HR Administrator of the Year in 2019.
“The Board is very excited to welcome Mr. Kim to BPS101,” Cathy Dremel, Board of Education president, said in a statement. “The Board chose Mr. Kim based on his commitment to educational equity and student learning. He comes to us with a proven track record of relationship building and community engagement.”